March 2017


Danielle Simon - "Canta la radio!": Italian opera on the airwaves, 1925-1940

  • Wednesday, 29 March 2017 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room

The centrality of opera for early Italian radio cannot be overstated. In 1931, EIAR (the Ente Italiano Audizioni Radiofoniche) broadcast sixty-nine broadcasts of fifty-four complete operas, a rate that would continue to increase over the next several decades. But producers of opera confronted challenges when translating the genre from stage to airwaves, not least of which was the radio’s lack of image. Some viewed the radio as an opportunity to perform new operas featuring otherwise inaccessible interior voices; others saw broadcasts of nineteenth-century opera as nation-building tools for transmitting culture and italianità. This talk will explore the challenges and possibilities opera presented during the early decades of Italian radio broadcasting, at a time when the new medium seemed to offer endless frontiers to explore culture, identity, and the human.

Danielle Simon is the Millicent Mercer Johnsen Rome Prize Fellows in Modern Italian Studies at the American Academy in Rome and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley.

The shoptalk will be held in English. You can watch this event livestreamed at

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.